Sunday, August 16, 2009
the reminder not to forget the levi
Sandwiched in between the requirement of building a mikdash and offering korbanos therein (12:5-18) and the permissibility of eating meat elsewhere once the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael expand to the point that it becomes difficult to travel to the mikdash constantly (12:20-28) is a pasuk which warns not to forget about the Levi (12:19). Meshech Chochma writes that the connection between this pasuk and the context of the parsha may be explained based on the view of the Rambam (which we recently discussed here) that kohanim and levi'im do not collect terumos/ma'asros in lands conquered outside the promised boundaries of Eretz Yisrael. Terumos/ma'asros are meant to compensate for not receiving a portion in Eretz Yisrael. Since kohanim and levi'im do receive a portion of land conquered outside the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael, they cannot collect teru"m in that territory. Therefore, when the Torah speaks of the expansion of territory, land in which the levi is not supported by termuos and ma'asros, it reminds us not to forget or neglect the levi as he may still need our help and support.